8 of the best speakeasy bars in New York

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If you like your cocktails served up with secret passwords, 1920s-era décor and undercover entryways, you’ll be in Prohibition heaven at these eight discreet venues.

The speakeasy trend that’s taken over the global cocktail scene began in New York, so there’s no wonder that the city does clandestine drinking better than anyone else. If you like your cocktails served up with secret passwords, 1920s-era décor and undercover entryways, you’ll be in Prohibition heaven at these eight discreet venues.

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Death + Company

This petite, dark wood-lined boite in the East Village follows the speakeasy theme, with its 20s vibe and easy-to-miss entrance, though the style here never veers into kitsch. The extensive menu is organised by spirit, but the bartenders are just as happy to whip up something custom.

photo credit: @deathandconyc
photo credit: @deathandconyc

Raines Law Room

Named after a proto-Prohibition law dating from 1896 that banned the sale of alcohol on Sundays, the Raines Law Room celebrates this controversial period with the best of Golden Age-inspired cocktails. Expect a sumptuous drinking den.

David Copeland, The Bar at Raines Law Room via Flickr CC BY 2.0
David Copeland, The Bar at Raines Law Room via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Angel’s Share

Located in a small loft-like space above an Asian restaurant in buzzing St. Marks Place, Angel’s Share is a Japanese-inflected speakeasy. Within its sultry confines, highly trained bartenders practice their special brand of mixology.

photo credit: @angelsharenyc
photo credit: @angelsharenyc

Dutch Kills

Occupying what looks like a dark warehouse in a dreary part of Long Island City, Queens, Dutch Kills is the very picture of discretion. Inside, its shadowed interior and individual booths lend a sultry environment, and winning drinks like the warm Bear Trap make it even cosier.

photo credit: @dutchkillsbar
photo credit: @dutchkillsbar

PDT

Its name stands for ‘Please Don’t Tell,’ and its entrance is one of the more storied in the speakeasy genre: guests have to walk into neighbouring hot dog joint Crif Dogs, step into a phone booth, and make a call. Once inside, they’ll find a bevy of drinks made by cocktail veteran Jim Meehan and his team.

photo credit: pdtnyc.com & eater.com
photo credit: pdtnyc.com & eater.com

Pouring Ribbons

Consider Pouring Ribbons a neo-speakeasy. There are no suspenders-wearing bartenders, and little attention made towards conjuring an authentically Prohibition atmosphere. Getting past the formidable bouncer proves its own challenge, but once you’re in, cocktails like the Infinite Jest blend classic techniques with off-kilter ingredients.

photo credit: @pouring_ribbons
photo credit: @pouring_ribbons

Clover Club

Its pressed tin ceilings, leather furnishings, and live jazz ape the look and feel of an early 20th-century cocktail den, but Clover Club’s drinks list, led by master mixologist Julie Reiner, spans from Pre-Prohibition right up to modern times.

photo credit: @msloladoll
photo credit: @msloladoll

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose New York guide covers all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas in the city

8 of the best speakeasy bars in New York was last modified: April 27th, 2016 by Claire Bullen
Author: Claire Bullen (218 posts)

Globetrotter, chowhound, travel writer for Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to... and contributor to Cheapflights Travel Blogs.